Our Unexpected Extended Stay

8:24 PM

While my OB cleared me to go home 4 hours after I gave birth to August, we ran into some unexpected roadblocks to our journey home. As our pediatrician is not "technically" a pediatrician and therefore does not do rounds at our hospital, we knew we would have to have some other doc release August. What we did not anticipate was that at 4:00 in the afternoon, there are no peds rounding. One was paged, but never returned the nurses page. It transpired that we had to stay Thursday night to make sure that August could be seen the next morning at rounds. We were LESS than thrilled, especially as this was the first night I had EVER spent without Brooklyn. And I was not excited about that, despite the fact that I did have a new baby to hold all night. A night during which I slept less than an hour with diaper changes, feedings and the normal hospital interruptions. Plus I was burning up!

We made a few mistakes along the route. We didn't pick the pediatrician to look at August, so a clinic was written on our charts. Apparently, this particular clinic doesn't round early in the morning, like most do. They didn't show up until 12:45 the next day. As I was climbing the walls, anxious to go home. Then, after waiting and waiting, it occurred to me that it was just THIS clinic that hadn't done rounds, but OTHER doctors were there. Well, as I realized this and we got on the phone to have some other doc check out August, we were informed that the doc from the clinic had finally arrived. And she was taking her sweet time getting to talk to us.

Taking so long, in fact, that I hunted her down outside the nursery. I had no desire to spend a second away from my new son, particularly not for a poky physician who was just writing up orders and notes and avoiding speaking to me - the crazy new mom who was clamoring to be released from the hospital. And she really was avoiding me, I discovered. Apparently, she had bad news to deliver and did NOT like confrontation.

And I was not backing down - I was anxious to go home! I had had nurses promising me for HOURS that we were just minutes away from leaving. So this poor doc tells me that her clinic has a policy to keep babies whose mom's were Group B Strep positive in the hospital for 48 hours to make sure they don't have an infection. I had prepared for this - I had already contacted my own doctor and given him the heads up that I was Group B Strep positive and that the rounding peds person would probably not want to let me go without assurance that my baby was immediately in the care of another doctor. Well, this woman didn't care. She was not going to release August for another 24 hours. She thought I was nuts for wanting to go home so early anyway. And basically told me so. Literally called me weird. I countered coolly with - "Different. Different from YOUR expectations. Not weird. Just because you are used to one thing does not make something outside your expectations "Weird". I'm obviously a different kind of woman than you." She was shaking....literally shaking. And I was seething. Ice cold, but furious and frustrated and exhausted and missing my little Brooklyn and DYING to go home. On top of which, my entire family (aka babysitting pool) was headed to Springdale at 3:00 Friday afternoon to attend the wedding of my cousin. There was no one to stay and keep Brooklyn!

I finally said, Look, I'm not angry at you - just this whole stupid situation. We didn't choose your clinic and certainly would NOT have knowing how late you round up here, and we were given very different expectations from the other hospital staff and we are justifiably frustrated. I understand your position, while I do not like it, and I need to talk to my husband to figure out what we are going to do.

I began to realize we could a) leave AMA (against medical advice) and take our chances, b) have my mom skip the wedding and stay home to watch Brooklyn for us while we waited out our 48 hours in the hospital or c) we could get Brooklyn from my parents and bring her up to the hospital with us and see how that worked out. After much deliberation and discussion, Kyle and I decided that we would just wait it out, get Brooklyn and bring her up with us and take our chances on getting out a little earlier than promised the next day.

So we did. Kyle went home and brought back changes of clothes, a laptop, some books, Brooklyn most importantly and some books for her! And we survived. It was like spending a night in the most uncomfortable hotel room of all time. Kyle cramped on the plastic couch, Brooklyn sprawled next to me on the bed and August in the crook of my arm. Me waking up to feed him and change him and praying that I wouldn't wake up Brooklyn. Who amazingly, slept soundly through the night and didn't wake up the next morning until 8:45!

We finally saw the pediatrician from the clinic the next day at 1:30!!!! So much for getting out early! We managed to make it home just shy of 4:00, and finally, our little family was able to begin to settle into our new life together.

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